Teaching EFL Through Words

Writing is to Reading as Speaking is to Listening: both are active processes in a communication system. Active refers to the notion of producing language with an individual mixture of symbols –possibly phonetic or spelled- with the intention that another person interprets it.

The writing production can be considered exclusive as far as the ideas are conceived with a hallmark that confers originality [associated to copyrights rights] and exposes an intellectual work thoroughly crafted by the author.

In the language learning process, writing plays one of the most important roles for the student as well as for the teacher. For the first, it provides an opportunity for using language functions in a way that allows successive reviews -improving its content and style as many times as needed.

Furthermore, deciding on which words to use in a composition expands vocabulary as long as a necessary research is realized during the process. The selection of structures implies the use of tenses and other grammar relations that the student can put in practice with immediate benefits, thus acquiring a better grasp and comprehension of the language.

When writing is used as a language learning activity, the practices are set by the amount of words, selection of topics, content required and mechanics. Writing exercises include different styles depending on the sort of work that is selected, and there are several options for the students’ appeal.

Variety is the spice of life. When English learners keep a personal diary as a technique to practice new words and expressions, it helps students to stay in connection with the target language outside of the class time. This writing exercise results in additional benefits when assigned as an extended activity for the lesson. One of the best types of written work for beginners is the composition, usually short in extension -with no more than fifty words.

 For this assignment, paragraphs’ organization should be reinforced from an early stage so that basic concepts [introduction, topic title, conclusion, etc.] are developed. Another option is to work with summaries from readings as a plain alternative to increase interest in writing. For intermediate and advanced classes, essays about personal experiences and research papers are great ways to get involved in more intricate tasks that could demand serious thinking and efficient time management.

 The list of available resources to incorporate as writing activities ranges from the simplest sentence structure practice to highly elaborated pieces with diverse levels of information and styles. This selection also includes modern resources like the e-mail and the web-log, commonly known as blog. No matter the writing construction we choose, communicative abilities are expanded in ways that will increase vocabulary, language production and cultural knowledge (fundamentals of spoken skill development as well).

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